Last week, I began an analysis of the tenure of the embattled America President, Donald J. Trump. This is the final part.
Like most controversial leaders of his ilk, Mr. Trump is a man of two extremes. Like the outcome of the election shows, half of the voters love him dearly and would do his bidding, whether they are right or not. The other half are completely anti-Trump.
Abroad, his fan club is little compared to his numerous enemies. He’s proven to be a loyal friend of Israel. In typical Trump style, he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, and infuriated many Arab nations, and then, went ahead to broker peace between Israel and some key Arab nations like Bahrain and UAE. These nations have signed bilateral agreements with Israel, a milestone that has made some to call for the award of the Nobel Peace prize to the abrasive US president.
Christians in America and around the world constitute a significant support base for Mr. Trump. Although not a church-going Christian, his frequent allusions to Jesus as his Lord and fidelity to Christian ideals won him admiration in Christendom. Some of his predecessors had tried to shift America away from the fundamental Christian principles upon which the founding fathers laid the foundation of the United State of America. This led to the rise of the LGBT group and other Satanists who clamour for the removal of the Ten Commandments from public buildings, discontinuation of the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer in US schools and the removal of the inscription, “In God We Trust” from the America dollar.
Trump’s Christian worldview appeared to restore America’s interest in godly principles. Coming shortly after his predecessor Barack Obama threatened to impose sanctions on nations that refused to permit same-sex marriage or which discriminate against the LGBT, Trump’s promotion of righteousness was reassuring. This explains his appeal to the global Christian community, especially here in Nigeria.
Again, there are senior ministers of the Christian faith who believe that Trump’s emergence was preordained by God to rescue America from its slide into Satanism, and thereby create the enabling environment for the execution of God’s end-time agenda. That’s why the bizarre actions, utterances and polices of the combative America president are excused by most of his Christian supporters, even in this ongoing election crisis.
In case you are wondering why Trump is enjoying the support of so many people in the US and some parts of the world, there’s the religious dimension to his presidency. He is believed to have a divine assignment, which his defeat would abort.
Let’s apply the pause button on Trump’s Christian policies and postures for a while and examine some reasons why he lost this election. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the US president looked set for a roller-coaster ride back to the White House, mainly because of the strong performance of the US economy. Massive growth meant highest job rates in recent years. With that level of economic strength, Trump looked invincible, despite all his obvious weaknesses in other areas. Americans were willing to ignore his embarrassing character flaws and irritating, unpresidential behaviours because of the sterling economic performance of his government.
All that went bust because of his poor handling of COVID-19. Trump didn’t react as he should to the fast- spreading pandemic. Instead, he described it as the “Chinese virus.”
He went on to downplay its lethal impact and, worse, he didn’t listen to expert medical advice on putting a prompt, effective strategy in place to contain it. That was what most nations did, but Trump chose to ignore the virus that has now killed thousands of Americans and completely wiped out all the gains of his four-year economic resurgence.
Without COVID-19, Trump and Joe Biden won’t be fighting a close contest; it would probably have been a no-contest. Much more than that, the president underrated his opponent. When Biden announced he’d join the race, Trump tweeted: “Sleepy Joe, welcome to the race”. Such disdain for a rival is unprecedented. Shakespeare said, “Over confidence is man’s chiefest enemy.”
Only when momentum began to build around the Biden-Harris ticket did Trump know that he had a match on hand. Biden, the underdog, is now the top dog. That’s a bitter lesson on leadership.
Another factor for Trump’s avoidable defeat was that he focused too much on his Republican Tea Party base. The mail-in vote has turned out to be the game-changer in this election because the Latinos, African-Americans and the other US minorities, who traditionally vote for Democrats, are the largest bloc who vote by this postal channel. They have turned out to be Trump’s nemesis because his immigration policy is hostile to them, and this election is an opportunity to take their pound of flesh.
The president’s racist rants just didn’t sit well with most Americans, including the white majority, and the outcome of this election shows it clearly. Biden, meanwhile, reacted to Trump’s race policy by picking a woman as vice-president. The choice of Kamala Harris addressed the gender question and, she, being the daughter of a naturalised American father of Jamaican ancestry, and Indian mother, says a lot about Biden’s attitude towards minorities. Not to forget that Kamala is married to a white man! Let’s leave it at that for now. As for the integrity of the election, let the courts decide.
Weekend Spice: Nothing happens unless first a dream – Carl Sandburg
Ok folks, let’s do it again next Friday. Keep safe. COVID-19 is real. Stay motivated.
•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)